End of Life Issues

End of Life Issues


  • A Guide To First Steps Actions to consider for anyone facing a serious or terminal illness.

  • Activities For The Dying Suggestions to help you and your loved get the most out of his or her final days.

  • Dying As A Spiritual Event While many see the dying process as a medical event, its spiritual aspects can be a great source of comfort to both the dying person and his or her loved ones.

  • How To Be With A Dying Person A guide to helping a loved one through his or her final days.

  • Legislating The Right To Die A look at Oregon’s controversial Death with Dignity Act, the world’s first official state-sponsored physician-assisted suicide law.

  • Preparing For The Death Of A Loved One The impending death of a loved one is always a difficult emotional time, but knowing what to expect during a loved one’s final days can help you prepare to handle the event.

  • Taking A Spiritual Inventory As death approaches, it’s natural to take spiritual stock of one’s life.

  • Talking About Death If your loved one has been diagnosed with a terminal disease, talking about death and his or her final wishes is one of the most difficult tasks you will face as a caregiver.

  • Terminal Sedation For persons in extreme pain, terminal sedation—medications that induce sleep until death occurs—may ease suffering as the dying process runs its course.

  • The Role Of Family Caregivers Family caregivers can play many different roles in the dying process.

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Funeral Planning

  • Burial Or Cremation? A checklist of the basic advantages and disadvantages of burial and cremation.

  • Choosing A Cemetery Plot A checklist of issues to consider when your loved one is choosing a cemetery plot.

  • Choosing A Vault Or Liner Some basic information on vaults and liners.

  • Funeral Costs A look at some of the costs involved when planning a funeral.

  • Funeral Planning Checklist A list of issues to consider when planning a funeral.

  • Funeral Planning Checklist - Detailed Form As your loved one makes his or her funeral plans, use this form to record all of his or her wishes for final arrangements.

  • Funeral Planning: Personal Information A form to help you record important personal information for use in planning a funeral, informing friends and relatives, and writing an obituary.

  • Letters Of Last Instructions As you discuss funeral plans with your loved one, he or she might want to prepare a letter of last instructions—a document that outlines funeral arrangements and other important matters.

  • Planning A Funeral By pre-planning your funeral, you can save your loved ones a tremendous amount of emotional and financial burden.

  • The Importance Of Funerals When someone dies without leaving specific instructions, many people opt not to hold a funeral. Before making such a decision, however, consider the role that funerals play in the grieving process.

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Grief or Loss

  • Are You Grieving? A checklist of the physical, mental, and behavioral symptoms of grief.

  • Coping With Grief Some suggestions to help you cope with the loss of a loved one.

  • Helping Another With Grief If your loved one is grieving—because of the loss of a spouse, friend, or family member—these ideas may help you care for him or her during a difficult time.

  • Helping People With Bereavement Grief has been called the “sorrow of the soul.” Grief over death or separation is a fundamental human experience, yet the pain experienced in bereavement excludes no one.

  • Helping Teenagers Cope With Grief and Loss Our experts answer your questions about grief and loss.

  • Psychological Responses To Loss A look at the most common psychological and emotional responses to loss.

  • Recovery Signs The grieving process is different for everyone, but there are some general signs that can help you know when you are recovering from grief.

  • The Grieving Process While everyone handles grief in different ways, there are four common steps to the grieving process.

  • Understanding Grief and Loss Some general guidelines for dealing with grief and loss.

  • Writing A Condolence Note Writing a condolence note can be extremely difficult. If you have trouble putting your feelings regarding a recent loss in words try following the tips below.

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  • Hospice Basics A look at the members and goals of a typical hospice care team, as well as information on hospice patients and ways to pay for hospice care.

  • Hospice Care: Q & A One of FamilyCare America’s experts answers your questions about hospice care.

  • Hospice Vs. Palliative Care The differences between hospice and palliative care.

  • Questions About Hospice Care A checklist of questions to ask as you try to find the right hospice service for your loved one.

  • The Hospice Foundation Of America The HFA’s website includes hospice information and links to hospice services across the United States.

  • Volunteering In Hospice Hospice volunteers provide much-needed support and comfort to dying people and their families.

  • What Is Hospice? Some basic information about hospice care.

  • What Is Palliative Care? Much like hospice care, palliative care programs focus on keeping terminally ill patients comfortable, while helping patients, family members, and caregivers cope with the dying process.

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In the Press

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Advance Directives

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Caregivers Handbook

This handy guide provides resources, checklists and worksheets
 - all in one place.